Vieira: Possible that Jack Harrison remains at New York City FC

Jack Harrison - New York City FC - Close up

Despite rumors of a transfer to Stoke City in England, Jack Harrison is still training with New York City FC and there’s a chance, NYCFC coach Patrick Vieira said, that he stays in New York.

“There is a possibility for him to stay, the same way there’s a possibility for him to go,” Vieira said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “But at the moment he’s here, he’s working really hard and I’m really pleased with the way he’s been conducting himself the last two days, but Jack has always been good.”

Vieira declined to discuss Stoke’s bid, which was reportedly upped to $4.5 million after an initial $3 million move was nixed by NYCFC. He referred those matters, and talk that perhaps other clubs in England are getting in on the Harrison sweepstakes, to Claudio Reyna. The NYCFC sporting director wasn’t on the call and wasn’t made available Wednesday.

"We have a game on the [fourth] of March and he’s getting ready for that game,” Vieira said, referring to the club’s regular season opener at Sporting Kansas City. “Anything else, the club, Claudio, is dealing with it.”

Harrison, a native of Stoke-on-Trent, had 10 goals and six assists in a sensational sophomore campaign with NYCFC. The winger, who competed for the England U-21 squad last fall, has 14 goals and 13 assists in 55 games in his two-year MLS career.

“I think everyone dreams of playing in the top leagues in Europe,” Harrison said at MLS media day in Los Angeles Saturday. “Obviously growing up in England and everything, it’s always been a dream of mine to play in the Premier League, but as of right now I’m still a New York City player.”

And it’s that mentality Vieira said Harrison has had since preseason camp opened Monday in Jacksonville, Florida.

“The only thing I can tell you is since the first day Jack’s been working really well, he’s been working really hard,” Vieira said. “At the moment, he’s with us and his focus is for him to get back physically stronger as he was last year. He’s doing really well.”